When you walk through the door, you won't think Rapscallion is the sort of restaurant to serve up fried chicken and catfish. The dining room is sleek and modern, there are a few too many tinctures on the bar and the wine list is too long for relaxed plates like those. But if you look around you'll see items on the menu echoed in the decor. Horseshoes, a cast iron skillet and a dinner triangle call out, affirming chef Nathan Tate's Southern roots.
Not than diners are bound by Southern clichés here. Sure, there's fried chicken, but it's dressed up in a mala sauce that smells a bit like Chinese food, and that catfish is dressed up by cherrystone clams and dashi broth. You can get okra and greens, but they're embellished too, with peanuts and other ingredients, and garnishes that make these classics new.
Pan-seared redfish, steaks and goat kebabs point to a menu that won't be boxed in. The same goes for beets roasted directly on the hot coals of the wood-fired grill that gives many dishes here a kiss of smolder and smoke. Much of the food that emerges from the kitchen here has a distinct personality, and you'll need more than one visit to fully get to know this Greenville Avenue restaurant.
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